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Hungry for Life

A Memoir Unlocking the Truth Inside an Anorexic Mind

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October 2, 2021  |  1,115 views  |  0 reviews / comments

Hungry for Life by Rachel Richards. A Memoir Unlocking the Truth Inside an Anorexic Mind. Book coverIn this painfully moving memoir, take a firsthand look at anorexia through the eyes of a young girl. Even in kindergarten, Rachel Richards knows something isn't right. By leading us through her distorted thoughts, she shines a light on the experience and mystery of mental illness.

As she grows up, unable to comprehend or communicate her inner trauma, Rachel lashes out, hurting herself, running away from home, and fighting her family. Restricting food gives her the control she craves. But after being hospitalized and force-fed, Rachel only retreats further into herself.

With a driving perfectionism, she graduates college with honors. But at sixty-nine pounds, Rachel is a shell of nervous and obsessive behaviors that have controlled her life. Years of self-harm and self-loathing have fueled the inner battles between good and evil, health and sickness, and life and death.

Acting on stage offers her moments of freedom from the skewed perceptions she's constructed over the years. But her dream of a career in theater is not enough to save her. What is the secret that will finally unleash her will to recover?


Author's Notes

Several years ago, I made a quick decision to begin scribbling down my story. I wasn't sure why at the time, though it was partially an attempt to make sense of my turbulent past, and a quest for catharsis. But in retrospect, I believe what compelled me to write was the frustration over feeling misunderstood with regards to my illness. I was driven by a burning need to cut through all the misconceptions and assumptions surrounding anorexia, and reveal the complexity and seriousness of this mental disorder.

Self-starvation does not define anorexia, but is merely a symptom, albeit a deadly one. An eating disorder is a beast that resides deep within, destroying a person slowly from the inside out. Research has shed light on anorexia, but studies cannot accurately depict an individual's mind as she struggles with her disorder. What is going through her head when she decides to stop eating, to study compulsively, to shut out her family and friends, to injure herself, and to live in isolation? My book reveals it all.

What can you do when a person you love is withering away right before your eyes? It is essential to understand the mind of the sufferer in order to know how to help. We must resist the impulse to go with our gut, because our instincts are often misguided when it comes to this issue.

If you or someone you know suffers from an eating disorder or is a concerned parent, is anxious about weight and dieting, has an addiction, or wants to learn more about the mystery of how an eating disorder develops and the multifaceted and complex road to recovery, I urge you to read my story. And please never hesitate to contact me with your thoughts or questions.

About Rachel Richards

Rachel Richards's picture
US United States

After years of struggling with an eating disorder, author Rachel Richards turned her life around and now helps others in pain. Returning to school after earning her BFA in theater from Hofstra University, she graduated from the Swedish Institute College of Health Sciences and started her own private practice in Manhattan as a licensed and board-certified massage therapist. She hosts a...

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